Hopewell Winner Article
The Leaders in Employee Volunteering Award recognizes Calgary businesses that demonstrate leadership and innovation in workplace volunteerism. Two businesses are recognized this year in the medium and large category, as is determined by the number of total employees. This award is sponsored by Chevron Canada Resources Ltd. – a wholly owned subsidiary of ChevronTexaco Corporation – to recognize excellence in workplace volunteerism
Hopewell Residential Communities (Hopewell) won our Leaders in Employee Volunteering award in the medium category. At Hopewell, they really support employee volunteerism because they believe that giving back helps move them forward.
Scott Hamilton, senior manager marketing in community relations for Hopewell, believes that having an employee volunteering program is second nature to the company.
“The culture is very much one of inclusiveness and empowerment and volunteer really runs through all of us, so for us volunteerism is a way of life at Hopewell, it’s really about giving back to community,” says Hamilton. “What we do is build healthy vibrant communities so the things that we do are meant to build that out there in the world.”
At Hopewell, they don’t want to only financially support a cause, they want to roll up their sleeves and really get involved to ensure the health of the city, this means that annually they pick a “charitable partner of choice” with the goal of expending up to 65% of their volunteer efforts and charitable resources with that partner.
“It’s very much an engaged culture, it’s very much driven by a personal level by a collection of volunteers at Hopewell, an employee group, which seek projects which are not only interactive, but also fun,” says Hamilton. “Our culture is more one of seeking out projects that give back to us as much as we give to them, it’s very much about experience, it’s not so much about let’s give to that, it’s more about let’s be a part of that.”
In the summer of 2012, Hopewell found their charitable partner of choice in Calgary Reads, which meant that Calgary Reads would not only benefit from a financial donation, but from a volunteer day for the entire Hopewell Residential Communities team – which adds up to approximately 200 man hours. They built tutor tubs, put together information that goes out to school, and came out to a Calgary Reads school for a reading celebration, getting down on the mats and reading to children in grade 1 and 2.
Anita Hofer, communications director at Calgary Reads, remembers the Hopewell team and their contributions very fondly.
“Hopewell had a little bit of a spark that was different than we always see. Their entire office shut down for the day that they came into our space, and they were super enthusiastic, they really wanted to make a difference,” says a beaming Hofer. “They were genuinely interested in helping children read, and then when they came up to the event, you could just see that they were really engaged and really making connections with those children.”
Both Hopewell and Calgary Reads understand that having a thriving Employee Volunteering program is not completely selfless; it helps keep employees engaged with their jobs, and the organization for which they work.
“Organizations that do what Hopewell does are going to have in the end happier employees that are really making a difference, and I think it’s important to go to work and to do work that you think is really meaningful and really purposeful. It makes a difference in the community that you live in,” says Hofer.
It is Hopewell’s desire to dig in and help the communities they build also thrive, and their passion for doing just that, that makes them a Leader in Employee Volunteering.
To see Hopewell in action you can watch the video below.
Do you want to engage your employees the way that Hopewell does?
It is common to have employee volunteering days where everyone gets out of the office and into their community, rolls up their sleeves and helps out their local individuals or non-profits. You can take part in Volunteer Calgary’s Paint the Town project, all you have to do is pick a date, sign up, and go! Or, we can customize a project that meets your needs and interests. For more information on our Employee Volunteering program contact Lori DeLuca at 403-231-1428